Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bienvenue, Robert: Blackburn v. Villa, 21 November (8:30 a.m. EST)

What's youth without some strong mentorship?

Well, we almost had 'em.  With the central midfield injury crisis mandating that Houllier select Jonathan Hogg alongside Barry Bannan in central midfield, Aston Villa put in their best 80 minutes in quite some time, trotting out to a 2-nil lead against Manchester United as Marc Albrighton terrorized one of the best left-backs in the game, Patrice Evra.  Unfortunately, United clawed back through Kiko Macheda and Nemanja Vidic to earn the point, and though Villans like you and me may rue the dropped points, we can take heart in the way the team, and especially the younger players, performed.

What remains to be seen is if that particular show can be taken on the road.  Villa will test that at Blackburn on Sunday-  with new signing Robert Pires likely to be unveiled to the visiting crowd on the subs bench for Villa, wearing the number 8 shirt.  The World Cup, EPL, and FA Cup winners' medal holder was added today on a free transfer.  Villa's last time at Blackburn was Houllier's first game in charge for the Carling Cup, and Villa responded with a 3-1 victory.

Villa's injury list will look familiar- Carew, Heskey, Sidwell, Petrov, Reo-Coker, and Cuellar are all likely misses, and Richard Dunne and Ciaran Clark are doubtful with knee and calf injuries, and both will miss Ireland's international friendly match against Norway tomorrow. James Collins was also just added to the doubtful list after picking up a calf injury in training. In other international news, Gabby Agbonlahor will miss England's match against France, but Stephen Warnock and Ashley Young will be in the squad, while Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso will play for the England u21's against Germany.  Barry Bannan will make his Scotland senior debut against the Faroe Islands.

 For Sunday's match, The Capital Villans will be at Fado for kickoff at 8:30 a.m. EST.  See you there!

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